My name is Alex and I am addicted to plants.

Unlike many plant/gardening/allotment enthusiasts, I am not about to tell

you about how I have been interested in plants and nature since I was a

child. In fact, it’s a joke in my family about how I used to cry and whine

when we went on holiday to “treeland” ... a.k.a. nature.

However, back in 2017 I adopted my first pets, two guinea pigs, which

within a few months had become 8 guinea pig - all of which loved lettuce

and herbs. It was because of them that I started growing veg, and I soon

caught the gardening bug.

As I spent more and more time in the garden growing goodies for my

piggies, I started to realise how it helped to ease my anxiety, something

that I’d struggled with for years (many without realising what it was I

was feeling).

Fast forward a year and after being involved in a traumatic incident at

work, I was signed off work with anxiety and depression, as well as being

put back onto anti-depressants. I filled my time with gardening and being

outside, and I am not being dramatic when I say that gardening helped

me to keep sane. It was a matter of months before I’d put a 6ft raised bed

in my back garden and signed up for an allotment, and my house became

overrun with houseplants.

I’d describe my gardening style as ‘lazy gardener with a touch of mental

health uncertainty’ - basically, I love anything that gives me results whilst

optimising the time I get to sit and admire my plants; however, I will have

days/weeks where I can’t be bothered to care for my plants.

This is what I love about gardening though... even in those dark and

challenging days there is joy to be found... even if it is just taking off your

shoes and standing on the grass in your pyjamas, or a personal favourite

of mine is just sticking my hands in some soil and mindlessly feeling the

different textures.

Since I have been gardening, I have experienced some of the most

incredible moments of pure happiness. One experience that comes to

mind is a day last summer on my allotment. After a year of a broken / no

polytunnel cover, I finally had a new cover on, and I popped to the plot to

drop off my tomato plants. Well 4 hours later I left. I completely lost

myself in weeding the tunnel and then planting each of my 18 plants in

the ground and stringing them up. It was boiling hot, I was filthy but

honestly, I could not have been happier. It is a joy that I honestly can say

I have just not experienced from anything else.

Another would have to be at Chatsworth Flower show where I listened to

a tree – pure magic (plus I met Ellen in person!).

Ultimately, the simple way to explain my relationship with gardening is to

quote my insta handle. I am simply ‘gardening myself sane’.



Find Alex on Instagram @gardening_myself_sane